There are two ways to travel from Ninh Binh to Huế. You can either travel by bus or train. The easiest mode of transportation is by train. This is how we did it!
Vietnam Railways Train
Each ticket costs 560,000 VND – 1,000,000 VND. This price depends on what class you choose to book. There are 3 main types of carriages on these trains:
1st Class Sleeper Train
First class includes soft beds with 4 berths/beds per cabin. They resemble 2 sets of bunk beds. Your cabin will include a reading lights and an electrical outlet. Each bed includes a pillow and blanket. There are bathrooms at both ends of the carriage. There’s also lots of storage space under the bottom bunk, as well as above the cabin door.
2nd Class Sleeper Train
Second Class includes nard beds with 6 berths/beds per cabin. All of the amenities are similar, but the space in between the beds are much tighter. Furthermore, there is much less storage space.
2nd Class AC Seats Only
Second Class AC Seat Only is similar to airplane seats. There’s limited luggage space. Sometimes, these tickets are sold as “floor seats” so be prepared for that. There are some power outlets spread throughout the carriage. The bathrooms here have a squat toilet (hole in the ground). There is no toilet paper provided, so pack your own if you book this class. I wouldn’t recommend choosing this option if you’re booking an overnight journey.
We took the Vietnam Railways train from Ninh Binh to Huế. (Check out my Ninh Binh travel guide here). Since it was such a long journey, we decided to book the 1st Class Sleeper ticket through 12GoAsia. Each ticket cost 894,000 VND/per person. Prices can differ depending on the departure time. Our train left at 8:17am and arrived at 8:51pm. The journey took 12 and a half hours. We booked a day trip, because we had booked a hotel prior to booking train tickets. You can also take a bus too. We figured we’d have be a better experience if we were able to lie down and sleep.
Price: 280,000 VND – 400,000 VND/per person.
Journey Time: 12 Hours
A Review/Our Experience
To start off, we generally had a pretty good experience. The train left and arrived in Huế on time. We shared our cabin with two local men who were friendly and kept to themselves. Even though they call the beds “soft,” the bed is actually quite hard. The beds appeared clean, but I didn’t feel super clean after the trip. This is probably due to the face that you’re literally on the train for so long.
We had fresh blankets/pillows, but I’ve heard stories about unwashed and reused sheets. Be prepared that this is a possibility. There was one cockroach in our cabin that my friendly neighbour kindly killed for me. However, there were no other creepy crawlers to note! The bathrooms (especially the floors/seats) are VERY dirty. Then again, there was toilet paper and soap.
Tips to Go By
- Bring ear plugs or noise-cancelling headphones. The train makes several stops during your journey. They’re announced over a loud speaker in each cabin before and after each stop. It can get easily disturb you sleep.
- Bring Snacks. There was a stewardess who sold food at dinner time. It costs only 40 THB per meal. The only thing on the menu was stewed pork, rice, veggies, and vegetable soup. The food was actually quite delicious, but the tray it was served in didn’t look the cleanest.
- The stewardess on board will have a general idea of your arrival destination. They will come to your cabin to remind you of your stop 5 minutes before arrival.
- Wear an extra sweater! The carriages are air conditioned and it can get quite cold!
- Book an overnight train instead, so that you can save on one night’s accommodation.
- Bring hand sanitizer and your own toilet paper.
- Download lots of movies!